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tv   Colby Military Writers Symposium  CSPAN  April 20, 2014 7:00pm-8:53pm EDT

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>> i wanted to know what your take was at 1928 when roosevelt once in its seat smith with down to such a crushing defeat. what is your take on your research on their relationship at that time during 1929? >> that's a good question. the relationship between smith and roosevelt began to deteriorate this in his roosevelt takes over as governor. he did not appoint two of smith's top people, bill moscowitz and robert moses. you know, politics that peter quinn has come at the way you can understand that, you are taking away from this legend or you go to
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>> utah about this woman who
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was a district leader 20 years before she was allowed to vote. how common was female leadership in tammany hall and what specifically did it do to help women suffrage? >> first of all, i have no idea how she got to the place where she was so early. murphy and smith was supposed to first but the women's suffrage movement past did new york 1979 believed. maybe 1918 only when tammany decided, there was the calculation and realize where history was going it had failed before in new york. the reformers try to get it through but tammany changed under murphy it passed.
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almost immediately when they are appointed as:district leaders almost immediately certainly in the 1920's you see stories in the new york press the women of tammany hall. lot of them were wives of officials but nevertheless they were integrated. i would not necessarily say they were in advanced on women's rights issues but they were there and women got the right to vote in new york ahead of every other state except michigan. it was the second stage to the union to pass of women's right to vote and they did it under timpani so give the boys a little bit of credit. [laughter] >> i was struck by the
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parallels some of the equitation's the anti-irish quotations if not, why? >> it goes back to one of the last quotations with that personal connection between politics and government and the people is not there anymore it is possible the organizations like tammany will reinvent himself through social media but i am glad you picked that up and i hoped people would notice. i deaerating a story about 100 years ago but also today.
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thank you. [applause] at risk of sounding very mercenary, it is about my friends. thank you. [applause] yes i will sell the books outside. ♪
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>> good morning welcome to the program thank you for tuning in a beautiful day today. think you for spending it with us we're broadcasting live from norwich university at the coal be military writers' symposium it is a great honor to be here and yvette we have had the great
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fortune to broadcast from over the past 11 years and it is one of the events a look forward to during the course of the broadcast year. we want to think a bunch of folks and first those here at the sullivan museum where rebroadcast from a beautiful facility built about five years ago and i encourage you to visit. also a great pleasure to have our friends here from c-span who will film our program today we will keep you apprised when that will be showing. what an honor. of anybody tries to model my interview it is brian lamb of master of the short question is about making cuts guests look good and i will do my best today. we cannot take phone calls
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due to technical limitation but we hope that you enjoy the broadcast. we do have an incredible light up. this is in any event the kind back in the mid 1990's dedicated to former cia director william colby who was of course, early on. what i found to be so valuable this is a military institution. my assumption was this will be an event that is a series of guest that is nothing but pro-military. i found it to be exactly the opposite. give the full cost of leadership credit for making this happen because what it is really about is to provide the cast to challenges the status quo to make this three-dimensional discussion and the bottom
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line is they try to get the message across for is the last resort i have been impressed with the quality and the criticism they have allowed on this university from the cast. we have a great lineup we will conclude the 1030b will talk to jack segal who was an expert on it ukraine and whether or not it is the next cold war. also in our second hour we will talk with the colby award winner logan bern who has written a compelling book about george washington and later we will be to jorn borling who spent six years that hanoi hilton how he could tap out at that facility and to somebody who will fit right into a
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challenge the status quo give a warm welcome to colonel douglas mcgregor the author of four years raged -- warriors rage. think you for joining us. i want to begin that is challenging the decision by george bush the first to not go into baghdad to finish off the republican guard. you say this decision led to the 2003 invasion. just as world war ii began war world war i left off iraqi freedom began were dozens tormented despite the initial success of television reminiscent of the first call for americans discover iraqi freedom was fundamentally flawed. this negative assessment is not easy to develop.
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wide you feel the way you do? >> both cases 1981 and 2003 there was no coherent strategy. nobody said what is the purpose of the intervention to begin with? water retrying to achieve? had three best achieve that aim and what we wanted things to look like when we are through? this is called purpose matt did it is a basic framework you are taught early to plan operations. no one at the strategic level in 1990 or 2003 did. >> host: when you talk about the battle describes that. you said it was a bloody affair. >> guest: 73 easting is understand first refers to the north-south grant to wine and we referred to that easting with the number grid
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line we talk about 73 easting is in a desert it is flat there is nothing out there to identify you cannot point to a town or a river. the only thing you can say is it is where the collision largely ochered. actually inside iraq just a little north and a little west of kuwait to. in the flat open desert that no one would have never known. >> host: you write to it was quite a challenge to a wide we have to be careful and understand of the 26 of february 4:00 p.m. we were periodically held back for several days. with the unit i was assigned to you could have held back i was in the second squadron that was the lead elements
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across southern iraq. we could have covered that territory that we took three days probably didn't six and 1/2 or eight hours because causally be were halted. it was the emphasis that high levels of traffic control moving everything you zero very slowly forward resembled world war foreign to move thousands of troops across the battlefield. around 4:00 in the afternoon we were coming out of a heavy sandstorm we had driven through lots of artillery encountered lots of the enemy and we knew we were in a security zone so we knew we would make enemy contact but we were held back and when we were released we were given another limit of the
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advance. but as chance would have it that people at high levels were trying to micromanage and we were unaware the picture of their battlefield was not accurate. nothing was flying. they had no idea with any specificity what was out there we literally collided with the brigade of 2500 iraqi troops republican guard brigade. it was at 100 percent strength because actually the rearguard detach rigged because most had already escaped sadly because of the very slow advance across southern iraq. we broke the back of the brigade within about 15 minutes and took another 40 minutes to complete the job than we had to halt the to as we ran out of things to shoot then i realized there was nothing else out there.
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i said cougar squadron we have a halt. bell holds juggernaut came to a halt and then i called eagle troop which was the main attack and said find out where we are. we have no idea that is when it came up 73 easting. then subsequently one hour later i was ordered to withdraw and became a include per car was so furious. why would we withdraw? why not exploit it? i got into an argument briefly then the deputy regimental commander he was the great man. he was the headquarters intel mcgregor choose to reduce if he thinks it is secure. we ended up with calvary troops with the of the artillery battery on the peninsula is looked as if we
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were two or 3 miles in front of the regiment as they halted and we stayed there wheat lost one bradley fighting vehicle that was struck. the crew was wounded one man was killed that was the only loss at that point but we were halted then they had a chance to shoot effectively but if we attack dog of move we were almost in full durable. but we probably killed between 1200 and 1800 bin, destroyed 70 tanks 100 other armored vehicles it was not in an even fight. we get it -- we annihilated them we came out of a sandstorm from the direction they did not expected. >> host: talking about the book "warriors rage" at what point did you find out the you would not push further
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and try to annihilate the republican guard? >> guest: we since this was the case about 8:00 in the evening for hours after the initial assault. we were told we would eventually go into reserve status because the divisions would move through to complete the task. what i did not know at that time is though most of the republican guard was blond babes withdrew 24 hours earlier we had this long the punishing campaign with the assumption the air campaign would destroy the iraqi command and control but that was not the case. said of hussain had absolute control of his forces and was able to make the judgment it is time to leave and was most concerned of the republican guard they had the best equipment and his most reliable troops and i would argue the only ones who
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actually fought. he got them out because we had been so slow i mean the senior officers. the war commander and general schwarzkopf was in saudi arabia and quite frankly i think most of what happened was on autopilot. each service he was not as hands on commander in a dollar of the senior officers were paean of veterans who had a picture of four based on their experience in vietnam which was irrelevant to what we we're doing. , they did not understand what a brilliant force i take the air force generals understood the enormous vantage but on the ground to they did not face the enemy who could not present real resistance. >> how much more were reported have taken?
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>> at that point we should have went into pursuits to reveal the. reason we should have stopped. we were in excellent condition we had only lost one vehicle. and frankly speaking when you lose a man like that that, soldiers in combat, you want to vindicate the effort to make loan-loss worthwhile. we wanted to continue but it was obvious there was no interest. people were interested to end this as soon as possible to declare victory and then take up out for the great achievement that they had nothing to do with. of friend of mine after was over suddenly became a much larger battle they said they were in. we were victorious and suddenly everyone was there and i never saw anyone who
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outranked me and senior leadership never came forward to see what was happening. >> host: how do you draw the line? had more effort been made in goal for one that go for number two would not have happened but people feel it should not have happened no matter what. >> guest: first of all, of 1991 you had the opportunity with very little force to remove saddam hussein just a small force to baghdad. he was almost universally unpopular inside his own country. the brigade commander and the surviving members of the brigade spoke to us in english at that time. of standing at 8:15 p.m. so many fires burning and a secondary explosions it is almost daylight in perfect english he says why are you stopping? you must go to baghdad and
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end of this and remove this man saddam hussein. he killed our best general's. he kills us. he needs to go way. i was struck by this he was at fort benning where she received instruction and training when we were backing him against iran. you could have removed some of his st. and turned it over to other generals who were patriots who were interested to be rid of saddam hussein. but the problem is in the united states the people at the top spot in absolute terms if we go into iraq we have to occupy. why? the occupation is disastrous for any european army. it is a bucket of water then as soon as you withdraw your hand it returns to its state. >> host: that is what we did.
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>> guest: 2003 we knew in 1991 when we were leaving we looked at each other and said in 10 years we will be back. saddam hussein would not back away from the policies he had pursued. it was no surprise in 2003 when i was approached by a newt gingrich's to begin planning intervention into iraq. as i went forward and put together the plan that was largely adopted and sent down to see tommy franks to things became very clear. first of all, we don't want to occupy but remove the inner circle at the top because that is an invitation to disaster. who wants a foreign army in their country? if you occupied north philadelphia after one month we would have shot at them to. you don't want foreign
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entities. not in your neighborhood. it would not take long. we bombed the country law the scale of roll toward to over 10 years we did not need to bomb them but take a small force to get rid of this and the iraqi military would cooperate. it seemed pretty straightforward but this changes and as a basalts of dr. wolfowitz and others in the administration determined they would transform iraq into a liberal democracy friendly to the west and israel. >> host: a lot of what you talk about with newt gingrich after 9/11, led did you say or feel that made sense to do a limited invasion or none at all because and had nothing to
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do with 9/11? >> it had nothing to do with an 11. by a understood said 99 -- the 1991 war was the unfinished war that we did not finish. in the combatants were exhausted so there was no ability to pursue. in 1991 we had a brilliant force on the ground and in the air we could have done anything we wanted. 2003 it was clear she was facing a very high probability that sanctions would be lifted. the assumption was he will return to his pursuit to build weapons of mass destruction part merely to pursue a nuclear weapon. he enjoyed a very strong position with the russians and french that wanted to get their money out of him. deal that many the only way was to restore the oil and gas industry so they would be happy to help him and in
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return he would go back so there was good reason to remove him but there was no nuclear weapon. that was nonsense and unnecessary but the larger problem of liberation but only if you did not occupy it to allow them to govern themselves that opportunity was thrown away. there are people that make the argument we could have just waited then we could deal with that. that is a legitimate position. i was not asked for my opinion but as the colonel how would you do this? i said it is not difficult or hard but this is how you approach it with armored force bring in light infantry once it falls but i
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encountered the senior officers that there would be a great war. it will be 90 days before he reached baghdad. i said 96 hours. it is impossible what if they shoot? pick up the iraqi army as you find them and bring them along. we had trash bags fall of cashing in and then off they went. we should fly i iraqi flags it should be liberation of iraq by the iraqis with us in the background but unfortunately that did not happen. >> host: we are talking with colonel the greater. when i read your buck you sound very angry. is that a fair characterization? >> guest: we were angry collectively. one of the reasons i wrote the book is there were 1100 men a lot of people did things that which they did not get credit for carr
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wanted to use systematically go through to give people credit you don't micromanage battles. especially an armored calvary squad 42 tanks 41 bradlees eight self propelled guns and armored vehicles of cruise missile the launch at the enemy is up choose of attendance and captains and soldiers to think and act on their own understanding the objective to destroy the enemy. they did that brilliantly and it is a testimony to the extraordinarily brave and courageous and well-trained soldiers. that had to be written and people need to understand that but also the senior leadership failed miserably. unfortunately they managed when they went back the rest
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is history. >> host: that is the lesson learned? not trust leadership for senior politicians? >> guest: quite frankly they have defaulted to the senior generals. the politicians bring them forward who say yes i will do its. but to employment policy is the general officer requirements. they did a terrible job. they really did not want to fight. they were quite happy to occupy once the fighting ended. they are very rediscovers santry than to cultivate personalities. they will do nothing over something then you are promoted to hayek levels up by doing something but going along and effectively repeated the demonstrating your unconditional loyalty whether the boss is a civilian. >> host: what is the
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reaction you have gotten from this book? >> the generals are not happy to be exposed. the points is the culprits that i talk about are those that unfortunately they have not liked the book and have done what they could choose a president but it has been extraordinarily successful and many generals who are now retired you thought it was brilliant and agreed but they have to be careful what they say for fear they will be cut out of the club but it is important to understand the problems that we do have policy wise are not at the lowest levels. the most confident are not at the lowest levels the problems began at much higher levels because the
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self-interest takes over. >> you have answered parts of the question what have we learned to? what is
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both are absolutely opposed to the idea to use the united states army to intervene in someone's country with the object to install liberal democracy. the american people understand that but in washington they have not figured that out that is why you saw the attempt to bomb syria period. people said for what purpose i go back to purchase. those are the critical questions that are not asked they have to be passed and we should not go anywhere
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unless we have satisfactory answers. >> host: thank you for your time. colonel mcgregor is the author of "warriors rage." before you run the way we want to give you the bag of vermont coffee. thank you very much. we will take the short commercial break broadcasting live from the cold the military writers symposium. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] the. >> host: have you been here before? >> guest: never. and i clear the room. one and done.
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if you want something simple as a bookmark. >> host: and i know more about you. >> guest: have you done research? >> host: yes. to one he knows me. >> host: i will also ask you to read. >> guest: i will do a piece of it. >> host: we are back broadcasting live this morning at norwich university at the colby military writers' symposium an extraordinary event. tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 there is a panel discussion that is on the topic i was just asking our last best about the future of for and the future of the military
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at 1:00 tomorrow. what a great honor let's give weld welcome to major general john borling who spent six and a half years that hanoi hilton and has put together this incredibly compelling book. think you for joining us. >> guest: you were expecting a pilot to write poetry? >> host: this saying i cannot figure out more than anything else you have poems that a link the that you created? >> and memorized my wife and my little girl was three months old and seven and a half when i walked in and so i would have a legacy. i did not die. i buried the of book for 40 years it is the piece of my soul but he had to make time and allied with that and
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certain race to create it a first then tap it through the walls but then buried the book for 40 years and john mccain did the for word to people urged me to publish this book which is frankly a piece of my soul. >> host: how did you remember or recreate that? >> guest: necessity is the mother of invention and returned to the notion. , but i missed the ability to compete to be out there doing things after are recovered from minor injuries the early years were very hard as the student of the war. you had to have a chain of command and let people know you were alive sea would tap of the zero ball. the tap code is in the book that would recommend you talk to somebody if you master the topcoat. >> host: manchin how it
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works on a 555 matrix. >> guest: two is teethirty it is the 25 letter alpha a gripping and you would be surprised. 30 or 40 words per minute with a lot of abbreviations. those that who are adept they would recognize the error. we did not have the abbreviations that are used two-day like lol. >> c were just testing me to see. >> absolutely. >> what is your experience when you were shot down? >> no rescue possible got
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out of the jet with adverse circumstances hit on a hill and rolled down hundreds of miles per hour with a broken back and sprained everything was crushed ribs and could not walk there were all around me passed out and they've moved up the hill to save my life and to break all the rules to zero hijack get truck guy did i had as six done in my pocket and was in the middle of highway one and with quasi moto got there to stare down of truck my thought was i would have this guy take me to the coast and i would steal a boat and go south. >> host: there was one problem. >> guest: apparently you have done your homework as
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your reputation precedes you you don't ask questions you don't know the answer so i commend you but i've made a slight mistake i hijacked truck of north vietnamese troops. so imagine. >> host: what happened next? >> guest: stripped nude except combat boots, i was wearing a ring a wolf said made out of a dental battle it was made from world war ii that the overhead rate was worn by all call only the four guys with of wolf head ring got out they spent time as a pow he gave me that everything and said it is said get me home ring. as i am stripped nude in the last thing that came off
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that is that it get me home bring but get me shot down rain after the of war i asked for the celebratory rate which is this one made by the bombardiers he gave it to me but the rest of the story like paul harvey i am talking on all of wall. you don't have windows or the trappings of the hogan's heroes. who are you? we would call him pop because he was really old maybe even 57 or 58. that is old. he said hi, dick i said john he said hi, dick was with you. he had lived with my all:as the pow now in vietnam. >> host: wow. and you know, his mission? he took a flight of ephors
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over a site to see if it was operational. it was. it cost him three airplanes. dumb stuff. >> host: talking to john borling his book "taps on the wall." you divide the book into four sections of your captivity. the early years were difficult was the isolation or something else? >> guest: isolation and the bad treatment the first four years physical pain and psychological pain was normal and we would tap on the wall as our lifeline. we wanted people to have our day with the chain of command resistive of the efforts to propaganda and time was a lifeline to communicate to to fill the angeles empty days for if they caught you they would hurt you.
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this is not modest it is orbiting punishment of some duration but yet we did not stop because we knew we had one task that was up most in our mind and i find it so relevant even today because it runs through the military they just want us to be proud of them. we wanted to return with honor to survive with our terms to hold our heads up. the book was buried after the war. i downloaded it. into a tape recorder and left it there then a number of people pressed me to publish and some very nice people in in new york and chicago and this is the
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first imprint of the library. the pritzker military library although a book of poems although there is back and a and the poems wrote just for you called "taps on the wall" but it has enjoyed some significant recognition. but i do have to make one admission. may i? >> host: please. >> guest: and the york times critic it was a nice write that but a person suggested that i may have on two of the palms created rap that i do have to apologize to the listening audience. >> host: you were well ahead of your time. so they will find that rhythm and meter. i do a lot of sonnets and i
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would hope the book would read in the sections out loud or pieces of it. the front end the back end if you want to laugh or cry or think but it is like at a picture we don't have to puzzle over the words if you want to go down the level of the sonnet you can get there but mostly looking at a pitcher with an instant gratification but i urge people to do it out loud. it makes a difference. >> host: name of maystadt people's ability to survive situations. it is different than if somebody were put in prison and you know, how long it will last. you had no idea how long it would last. how deep you mentally cope with that of a known? >> guest: to stay mentally
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sane was a lot of that. each section has someone minders in the book you look at the first part it talks about the optimists and pessimists. the dark and better stuff i should say that it is about flying then the dark and bitter the third section is family and christmas the headband flow of great joy and then the of long poems of 80 pages that talks about the things i suspect that you and your listeners -- listeners care about like politics hate war peace love renewal, the self-rule -- renewal but back to my question. we had optimist and pessimist they thought we would die and the optimist
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were convinced they would send our bodies home. you are looking stern. battues of funny joke. the gallows humor. but i speak enough french to be dangerous in a bar may be very dangerous. >> host: you greeted one of your comments leader. >> guest: he was one of the three principal revolutionaries when i went back did 2002 with the false delegation and bat with them an hour and a half and was only supposed to give us five minutes. he answered me back in french and found out throughout the trip through vietnam that we won the war. the american values and culture is pervasive in
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vietnam and they are our best friends stridulate strangely but that is the zero come of grinding conflict with the enduring bond develops after words. >> host: i imagine you have the different perspective from the discussion of cia and a torture? >> guest: we are americans and we do not torture. we do not treat captives badly. that is very much a part of what we stand for. but i will make an exception if there is some reasonable expectation of a person captured has immediate knowledge that may cause
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tremendous harm to american forces or america than given an inappropriate level of sanction or review i would say something this serious needs to get to the presidential level that he or she would say yes you may use extraordinary measures because it is so important. but it literally takes that level of authority in my view. otherwise most compounds don't know very much and we certainly are not in the business as the vietnamese were to create propaganda if anything we have learned that once war is elected the objective should be to wrap it up because we lose the politics and the imperatives so i do comment on that in the poems at.
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>> host: author of "taps on the wall" we will ask you to read a short section of one of your poems. a part of survival you get through hanoi hilton but then when you come back to the rest of planet earth. what was the reentry like? >> guest: four b, it was most noteworthy calling my wife that i had no contact with for years. high school sweethearts married almost 51 years. a tough lady her picture is of the back of the book as youngsters and now. a wonderful woman. i call her from clark and she said i am so happy you are back satellite shoot one of four allowed pack of cigarettes. what do we do next?
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i said i will go back and if i am in a good we will stick around but if i can compete with the people then we will get out and i will do something else. i would not be able to belly up. it meant more to me within a few months to get back operational to be top gun because it meant to i could do what i've loved to serve idi air force with credibility and honors. >> host: you jumped back and. that is the way you dealt with it. >> guest: the book was very because i did not want to be a professional pow i think now my manhood has matured sufficiently backed icahn talking and people
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leave don beebe says these were important not just to be but to use the time i may have changed a few words people come back to say you changed boneyard which is the first one alone i blocked the desert defense beneath a sky of bread along a fence that split the world. of motionless parades through the of mesh of legends and it goes on to tell a story of what happens as you visit the boatyard. i find today after having created daily through the entire repertoire it has stayed with me. >> would you mind sharing with me what was the worst physical experience you at at hanoi hilton?
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>> guest: yes i would wind. and i would mind because when i came out they said how many purple hearts do you want? it was a senseless question. 50? 150? every time they drew blood we said two. the method of pain that they used and i make a statement they were too cruel to kill. they just wanted to hurt so rather than go through the whole torture stories but to say that combinations of what we call broke tricks and restrictive hand cuffs and body contortion and
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beatings with coaxial cables and fan belts , routine punches and beatings were very much part of a daily regimen of over four years. when i say daley that is an overstatement but it would be episodic candy would not know when it was coming. if they would see a delegation there would torture a bunch of cells somebody broke than those who broke got to see a delegation. i don't describe the bravest of the brave but we had our code make them hurt you bad but then bent and don't break. i did not see a delegation but that is no criticism to those who did. or were forced. we lost jerry recently just
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a few of days ago but we lived next door to each other under hard times i remember tapping it was so hot that is all i could get out as we were tied down i could just reach the wall and he tapped back dying. dying. >> host: was the physical parts for the mental part? >> guest: the mental. physical was episodic and could stay with you but that is why do your best but you deal with that because you leave on your buddy to keep faith. you come back and they beat you up and you say something you did not want to say but they forced you. i could make you insert the
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minutes claim that your entire family was from outer space and it would body snatching it is not that hard. >> host: it would not take 30 minutes. >> guest: but the reality is you deal with adversity. you don't have the alternative with the desire to come back with honor is part mortal -- primordial. there was the concept of characteristics that made up of a good man or city or nation the core concept of courage. but not battlefield courage they were talking about. i make the speech to corporate types i have added four.
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but they talk about the courage to do the right thing in life. that is a lot harder to do. success is a real test. >> host: why do you say that? >> guest: because you have to deal with things like arrogance. you have to do with the ability to exercise power. you have to deal with the fact your jokes are so funny you could go to las vegas with an act to overnight. other temptations that come down the road with the trappings of success we read about them all the time in the paper. the courage to do the right thing is the test. particularly hard in the face of great success. the only way we are truly hold to deal with that is to have commitment outside of self.
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substantial commitment. >> host: helping others? >> guest: enabling others to help them salzburg for you cannot give self-esteem or provide don't give them the fish but the fishing line. is a challenge for our nation now choose struggle with issues of equal talent -- egalitarianism but that experience is a rough and ready to make it on my own and to help others to make it on there on as a societal safety net but not one that stays forever. to do that we have forgotten perhaps because of our comfort level leaf fail to have the courage to do the right things that despite
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our best efforts we have to endure losses and we will have a significant portion fail for fair reasons and follow and we need to make judgments how much of resources we devote. . .
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john gardner, the citizen of our times would suggest and i do commend his book. the second book. everyone should rush out and buy it. rick trying to limit people to 100 copies. you bought your requisite hundred copies? >> amelie about halfway there. >> i think you for your enthusiasm. my wife to deals in the renovated bathrooms is listening intently to your program and supports your effort. >> back to this question of how quickly i might give up information. the claim is that torture does not make sense because i would say something completely untrue. tell me, from your experience, would you tell someone the truth or lying or what? >> there was a code of conduct as u.n.
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i've flown 97 missions, all it -- already volunteered for another hundred. that is what lieutenants to. i was prepared. the survival instructor. training down at fort benning. so there were never going to get me, but i could not walk. i was unable to be rambo, go out. >> you give it your best shot. >> well, anyway, the reality is that the code of conduct says you get name, rank, service number date of birth. so that's what to do. and then they heard you so bad that all it wanted to do is talk . almost out of politeness. and they force you. this is where we had to bend, not break. i remember, in my case, when they got me to talk after a long time of pain i would keep passing out and they would throw water me. i remember i boston the back of
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a jeep. they hang me a template pinata, as they say. trussed up and -- it's not pleasant to remember. they wanted to know -- i was a lieutenant. i did not know what the next mission was. they came in and told me that i was an f for pilot, the squadron was then, the way that i was and because i have been published in the paper. and so there would ask questions like, how you find your way to the target area? what is a sophisticated electronics? in my case i'm starting to tell them, i can't tell you. it's a secret. we want a secret. make them are you some more. and then say, well, it's the weems. it's a codeword. what is it? no weems plotter.
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and made up the story about how it's just a compasses were around talking about, a piece of plastic that you draw lines on maps with. buy it at any pilot store. and i said, and then, of course, we use the secret ice-t. as tree is so you go from indicated calibrated equivalent to a two -- chairs the. so we spent a week on i can remember. in the final and irrevocable pilots. we spent a total of three to four minutes together and got very angry. that started another bout. i bought some time. so you go through these things. the harder part was when i wanted you to a vilify your country, read propaganda statements. there would torchy to do so, and then you're sitting there
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because they're forcing you to do something or what you sign something they have done and make a tape. you don't. so i can remember signing off on a statement that -- and it was, if i have caused injury to innocent vietnamese people and sorry for not. i went back to my cell and cried like a baby and tapped on the walls of the guys, and a traitor to my country. that was a phrase. so he tried hard to maintain your honor and honesty with your buddy. when people fail or got hurt so badly they give them something wars. there was no retribution. there was an understanding and forgiveness because we are honest with each other. a came back to the motivation, we wanted to come home.
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there were a few lawyers, but it was a difficult time served with extraordinary man, many of them gone now. i continue to march. i am most fortunate. i give thanks for that routinely >> does it make you of all uncomfortable that somebody like me would hold you in higher esteem because you survive pleaded? >> i don't like how the term hero being used. i think you're should be reserved. today on the introduction. and normally say, look @booktv nine minutes. i stood in the shadow and surplus on cannot the term now or never subscribe. medal of honor guys, there is were hero is. we use it so much that it cheapens the term. although there is this great nation, if you're in the military and not in combat is
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somehow lesser. during combat and not wanted some i/o answer. here in combat and not captured and wounded. seventy in the have to be killed some the acceptable. atlantises -- it's one aspect. >> walking right up to the line. would you share with us a little bit of your epitaph. just put down the block. thank you very much. >> sure, you can. he picked the palm that is out of the dark and bitter recesses of the heart and experience. it's the hanoi epitaph. at this time was living in a room that was probably six by eight, no one -- no windows, no ventilation.
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another guy from time to time. when days of dim hope and boredom abound and you have listened to the desperate sound of empty tap code conversation. when the heat is so hot and a cold so cold you think of your youth and how you have grown old, now live confined and lives los station. when the floor is furrowed by tired feet and legs lives away amid the pounding beat you tread on in the dark desolation. and the palm goes on for another ten or 15 verses that personal. it ends of when years have passed and many decembers and no
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one know this and no one remembers the sound of your forest the face or in an mosso you dream of steel chargers and scars to room mostly dreamed of just going home, but the dream without hope or conviction. well, a tap that through the walls to the guys. some time later they came back, edgy, and thanks a lot for the one. we have had a suicide pact killing on down the way. the thing was poetry. again, you will laugh and cry. you will think, too. no one you to come away -- what
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is the acting? once more with feeling. add tried to be honest in the book as i was with my fellows. just to keep marching. that is the clarion call for the day. with whatever was to weaken some and, often in the forms of questions rather than pronouncements. i'm very leery of pronouncements the shore of questions. thank you for letting me be with you. >> thank you for your time. >> that is john borling. his book "taps on the walls: poems from the hanoi hilton." this is fm 961 will be back here right after these important announcements. >> fair enough. thank you.
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>> only 50 copies. we will have to work on that. >> take care. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> thank you, again. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> hell are you?
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>> i am well. >> you are no relation? >> no. >> gun. that's incredible. >> okay. that's such a coincidence. >> that's okay. you have plenty to talk about. your timely. i would like the tour, ukraine. >> so, my direct background, i was serving as the first u.s. consulate general and central
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russia and came back to the states with my wife and went to work as -- >> we are back broadcasting live from the cold the military writers' symposium. let me take a moment of your time to remind you about one of our fabulous monsters and the program. thank you to all of you out there that have been going to the folks. just cut and nice e-mail yesterday. thank you. if you have any printing projects in need to get done, make it happen. call them at 229-9335 and on the web. so we also want to encourage you to use a local internet service provider. a toll-free number for you to sign up (188)321-0815. you can find them on line at gm av t d doubt that.
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broadcasting live today from the called the military writers' symposium. a reminder coming up tomorrow afternoon there will be a panel discussion talking about the futures, we have learned in the past for more's about the future of the united states military. that's divinize welcome to jack sigell who is joining us. jack is not an author, but in fact he may have a more useful role for us today. jack is an expert when it comes to the ukraine. he has served as a political adviser to the nato joint force commander, was actually initially going to talk here at the event and talk about afghanistan, but because of the events : on with russia and ukraine, a little bit of an hon. has been called and he will be talking about ukraine, the next cold war. tommy about your work the national security council. >> i went to the national security council after serving in russia, first in moscow and
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in central russia. my job was as one of four directors were russia, ukraine, and eurasia. prior to that i have served in the state department as the office director for ukraine, belarus, moldova, and poland. i had the background. i became a go to guy on ukraine in particular but also the other western slavic countries. the situation at that time -- this was back after the collapse of the soviet union, but really yeltsin was in charge of russia. ukraine was led by cucamonga and christian. the last prime minister i dealt with was a guy named paul maslin go. he is just finishing a basics-year stretch in federal prison here in the united states for money-laundering. he reflects, i think, an
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unfortunate trend of the very wonderful people the ukraine has suffered for more than 20 years of mismanagement, bad government, and corruption said in its most extreme forms. >> go back to your military source. two tours in vietnam. >> as a young man i was drafted and then turned into an officer candid it's cool officer and sent to the third brigade fourth infantry division along the cambodian border. i was fortunate. a sergeant walked up to me when i arrived at base camp and said, you're in charge, but i've been here seven months, and if you let me help you win by both get out of here alive. >> the experience for you? >> well, i learned at that point i had almost no college education and i needed to learn more history and learn understand how politics,
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political decisions are made. but i also decided that a military career was a huge and advantage for me as a person dan and opportunity for me to learn to conduct myself as an officer, to lead people, to motivate people, motivate myself and also to focus my energies on what was important at the moment in a combat situation it's a very focused buying, but in life its general. you always have to kind of keep your mind on the target. and then i decided to become a diplomat and went through the process of qualifying and passing exams and everything. as a diplomat, i found that the skills island and the military were required relevant and experience was very useful. >> how did you -- we are talking with jack sigell who will be talking here at the kobe
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military writer suppose in. how did you educate yourself and the ukraine? >> well, when i knew that i was going to be going to the job for statistics department as director for those countries in a western slavic region i really immersed myself in ukrainian history and in the history of the other countries are was response will for. and i decided that i need to talk to as many ukrainians as possible. and so i reached out to communities first in the immediate washington area and then in cities in the midwest and in particular where there were large ukrainian populations and found that there were second and third generation americans who still thought of their heritage as ukrainian, although ukraine did not exist as a country until the collapse of the soviet union. there was a complicated change, and that is still relevant.
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people who are more than 20 years old live in the soviet union, and they were subjects of the soviet empire and members of a place called the ukrainian soviet socialist republic. they went to school and spoke russian a school. ukrainian was always something misspoke with their drama, and maybe not even much of that. so after independence now you have a generation of young people who think of themselves as ukrainian. there are quite confused right now. they don't understand the relationship of russia aware of their loyalty should be. they are in and very complicated and difficult position,. >> as an entity if you look at old maps of russia, the russian empire, i should say, you see
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the name ukraine. it comes from our russian phrase the proposition is to, and the word is corrina. means on the edge. and so it was seen by the russian empire as being the edge of the russian empire. in fact, the russian empire began in the city of kiev and then moved to moscow. they're is a huge divide in this country that we see today. the borders that exist today on the came about after the second world war. and the eastern part of ukraine is still that part in the russian empire. the western part was carved out of what had been the austro-hungarian empire. the divided is also in the form of religion. most people to the west catholic. most people to the east are eastern orthodox.
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and a linguistics, as i said a moment ago, it only came about fairly recently because ukrainian was not encouraged in the soviet empire. sir ukrainian was not used in government offices, and school and so on, and it was only in recent years the ukranian has been elevated to the position of being the language of ukraine. now, that is not to say a lot of ukrainians feel they are ukrainian, russian. it has nothing to do with pressure. and that is not only those who speak primarily ukrainian. during that long. of soviet domination people intermarried. there were soviet citizens. it did not think of themselves in this ethnic way. now with these recent events that has become very important. >> talking with jack sigell will be speaking here at the symposium about the ukraine. boy, it really sounds as though from what you describe it is
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really those sort of two countries that we have been hearing about. >> they are deeply divided, and now the leaders, would say, on both sides are exacerbating the divide for their own political purposes. as i began by saying, the wonderful people of this country have suffered from bad leaders. we can hope that the next group of leaders will be better, but that is only a hope and it may not be based a lot of evidence. >> well, and clearly it seems as though they will be controlled out of moscow. >> well, moscow is always going to have a lot of leverage over the ukraine. the dependence of ukraine on russia for gas and oil, but even beyond that for market ukraine's biggest market is russia. and so they -- they are tightly linked together economically. tom friedman has written about
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this. the world is getting much more interconnected. in this case they are more connected to russia than they are to the european union. in the european union is an opportunity if they choose the correction. this is really what caused the crisis back in october and november last year, this idea that they're going to have to choose between the european union or russia. maybe that was a false choice. it could have done both, but that choice is now exacerbated itself into open conflict, killings, and really creating a much sharper decline than was ever there. >> when you hear, when you heard the russian president talk about is sort of bemoaning the breakup of the soviet union. almost sounds like you would like to put it back together, will was your reaction? >> well, they have felt this way ever since the breakup of the
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soviet union. a lot of russians felt this way. a lot of soviet citizens felt this was. they were a superpower. there were the only equal to the united states of america, and then they went to become a basket case, almost. we were providing food aid when i went out to central russia to the consul general. they were in need of food, which is, you know, unconscionable that a vast country like that cannot feed their own people. they have dug themselves out of the whole benefiting from higher oil prices certainly, but more from the strong czar-like leader, the strong leader that russia had who takes the reins and just makes all the decisions that is something a lot of former soviet citizens are comfortable with. they don't have a lot of schooling in democracy. it's less true in western
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ukraine and eastern ukraine, but it's true. and they don't like the disorder that they went through, the huge upheaval that came about under president yeltsin. it was not his doing, but it was a financial and economic collapse they had to go through to get to some sort of more economically viable system, which in now if. so their lives are better off, but they don't have all the cards either. a member of that same flat society that tom friedman or about. he has to sell his goods. he also has made one important move already, annexing crimea. now crimea, for people who don't remember the history, in 1954 crimea was part of russia. and then at that time premier khrushchev decided to celebrate an event in ukrainian history by giving crimea to ukraine, a gift
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it meant nothing because the soviet union was never going to collapse of his mind. so crimean ended up as part of ukraine, but it was 86 percent russian. and our russian military base probably. out when they assured crimean back to russia last month what they also did was to amelya and half russian voters out of the ukrainian political system. if they observe these three or four other cities in eastern ukraine that have now been demonstrating against the central government's, they will take several million more russian voters away from the ukrainian body politic. what will happen is you will almost certainly ensure that the government that is elected in these elections will be pro eu, pump -- pro european union. so he has a complicated problem on his hands. >> is that interest.
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the topic of your discussion is ukraine, the next cold war. i guess i'm wondering, it will be a cold war. it seems more our reaction. >> that is fair to say. we are in the space geographically that has always been greatly influenced, if not dominated by russia. and so we are -- that is not our space. we have not the resources, the power, the military power to confront all
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>> i would advise we need to cool of the rhetoric, shut up a little bit with these public broadcasts. our government, if they take any action against using ukraine if russia takes any action we are going to be very, very disturbed by that as if that is more disturbing. and if we are very disturbed or very, very disturbed, what in hell does that mean? we have to be realistic about how much influence we really have over this situation and how much we're willing to commit to it. there are others -- i mean, i have a friend named to purchase the will argue that this is a really soft ball you're throwing we need to be tough to move data
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directly into the ukraine right now. we need to protect -- we need to offer in nato. there is another set of ideas out there which need to compete, i think, in what passes for political process in washington these days. we need have a discussion. >> what is your message to the cadets here today? >> well, i was saying when i first realized that the national security council, you are not handed a piece of paper that says ukraine, a blank sheet of paper, what do you want to do about it? your and the messy piece of paper with all sorts of scribbling that says the cruise ships decision 1954, decision to expand nato into eastern europe's, all these other things, all these historical events that influence your choices as a political and military leader, and that is the
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reality that any leader or any, frankly, a business person faces. you don't get to start from scratch. you get to start with where we are today, and you have to look forward and say, okay, how can i incrementally improve the situation? i always hearken back, i met a guy who circled the moon. he was not the guy who went to the surface but in the other capsule the weighted. >> which one? >> again in england. and he said that, you know, one thing, if anything goes wrong in space you have to make sure you don't close of the options. you want to not take any action until you know what you're going to do after that first that. and so that is what we have to do. we have to, you know, the russians play chess a lot. we have to look forward for moves now. what is you really trying to get what is you really want us to do
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? what do we need to do to a -- we want to play the game won the game is not going happen, but we want to play in a way that at least in some the draw. >> boris and bobby fischer back again. >> you got it. >> the most likely scenario in the ukraine a year from now it will look like what? >> it think the ukraine will have a series of elections which will not be recognized. the european union will hold back most of the money that they're promising because the ukrainian government will be unable to bring about the economic reforms of the needed. and so it will be in sort of limbo without really resolving the crisis. i have always added that whenever i have the opportunity to know we talk about the 99% in the united states. well, the 99% is nothing to do with money but the fact that
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99 percent of the american public does not communicate their views to their representatives in washington. believe me, they keep track of it. they don't -- they don't care what your words are. they count how many people got in touch with me regarding ukraine and which side of the issue with neon. so everyone who is listening can do that right now, go to their computer or write a letter to their representatives and say this is what degree should do. does not have to be long because as i say, they're just taking notes. they need to register the view. politicians are sensitive to public opinion. live back to the example of syria and chemical weapons to really were going to go in and start a war, and then there was a weekend where 80 percent of the people communicated to their representative and said, we all want a war. lowland all we did have one. >> thank you for your time. appreciate it very much. we've been talking about the ukraine.
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he will be giving a talk. broadcasting live this morning from night called the military writers' symposium. we will talk about george washington. let me first remind you about our good friend. if you need data items suggested in court or a word or even repaired, men's and women's clothing he is more than 50 years of experience. put that to work with you. he has done of you for me. he is on the right hand side of route 100 as you head of waterbury area. but for the shell station. the next building open wednesday , thursday, and friday. mike russo at the tailor shop with more than 50 years of experience. we'll be back right after this thank you very much. that was an education. i don't know if you have met him, but they're is professor here.
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he was either born in the ukraine are grew up in the ukraine. >> i haven't. >> really, really interesting man. we need to give you back. >> thanks, debbie. >> you're welcome thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> good morning. >> please sit down. >> thank you. you look just like a picture. not many people and say that. >> of grain. my dad was the senior partner at brown would. forever. he retired when he was 58. i guess he was about 90 -- mid-90s. >> okay.
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>> one of the things, so heartbreaking. very fortunate to everybody. all the artwork. >> i'm going to have used to trade up on that bike there. you can sign that for me if you'd like. it is marked with decay.
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did i blow out that the light? it must have been a powerful question. for. >> oh, my gosh. yeah. wow. >> all right. broadcasting live.
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the kobe riders military symposium. you want to thank the folks here general schneider and the folks here at the museum. coming up tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 it is the public forum. this is an opportunity, panel of discussion about lessons learned from the iraq in afghanistan wars and also a discussion about the future of the military. no, my goodness. let's give a nice warm real welcome. written blow of tyrants. we want to congratulate. the winner this year. this is his book about george washington and the forging of the presidency. >> thank you very much. >> were you surprised? >> shocked. >> tell me about the phone call? >> really excited. i did not even realize i was nominated. i did not think i had a chance.
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really amazing. >> tell us about your background this idea for a book, nanny on me since my days in law school. it started as my law school pieces. it -- some of the professors told me that this could -- expand on this. keep working. professor bill estrich, constitutional law professor. this debate in class about what the commander in chief klaus went. you would think that after all these years we would have some kind of idea. i thought instantly george washington. expand on my pieces. kirsten first ad thought to myself and i looked at this, why would anybody take on a project
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of writing about george washington? don't we already know everything that we could possibly know about this guy? >> so many great books on washington out there. what i love to do is make a twist to it and see what principles which can learn from his actions in the field as commander in chief to and form the understanding of the founders an article to section two, the presidents of commander-in-chief of the army and navy. the words of we don't have much on, what does it mean to them? and so i started taking into washington. interest in things that had not been spoken about too much. i don't think it's because on any sort of special researcher, but i think i have the benefit of the digitization of these materials. the george washington project at the university of virginia. there are amazing at compiling
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all these documents that is scattered throughout the country and making them, you know, accessible. i think it allowed me to find interesting lines and track what washington was thinking and saying but different subjects much more easily. >> talk a little bit about your ancestral background, your connection to at least one of the founding fathers. >> yes. the father of the constitution. that influenced me going up and it's why the book came about. my parents would always be telling me, your descended from patriots. that's important to remember. >> not to set too high an expectation. >> good luck. alpine not letting them down, but i'm trying. they said, you know, always remember and think back. so when i see things in the news, things that are going on
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i'm would instantly relate back to the founding era to see what sort of principles near each other. >> you talk about george washington and the issue of how you treat prisoners of war, torture, issues like that. what i found fascinating, i recently interviewed amity about her book about calvin coolidge. she was extremely resistant and quite confrontational when i tried to suggest that she was trying to us have calvin coolidge shoehorned into the 21st century. what we learn from that? perhaps it was the use of the word shoehorn. you make no bones that your intent is to try to put what washington do today? >> i do try to abstract away a bit. what i'm getting at is the concept of original wasn't in interpreting the constitution based on what the people who
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ratified it bought. you know, there is tremendous debate amongst judges throughout the country, academics about how much weight to give that history i try not to get into the thick of that debate. the vast majority did this history at least some way. at least a starting point. i'll i'm eager to show that this is how they're thinking about the gruesome subject -- subjects there is much to learn. i try not to say george washington did x. but do try to recognize that. >> and in your conclusion, your apologue you really try to make that fine distinction. but at the same time it's pretty clear to me that you are trying to get impart some of those messages from the past whether
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it's torture, you talk about finances of the country. what is it that you are trying to extract from washington's time that we should apply? >> absolutely. all of this history is a great starting point. remember, we're coming from a different place. it one of the strong this sort of narratives that connects the books is a difference in power of the commander in chief over foreign nationals verses american citizens. so when it comes to even things like torture or military commissions, i find this interesting divide where washington blue shows great authority in as great discretion when it comes to impacting the people themselves he has to defer to civilian authorities,
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congress, state legislatures, the courts. >> you right here at the end, we can certainly deride personal enrichment from our founding generation struggle, the direct impact of those troubles of our law provides a practical reason. i am not attempting to oversimplify, but by arguing washington did x, their for the modern presidents can also do action of the powers granted them. instead and more humbly assert the precedent set by washington and more time should be taken into consideration. >> it is an important consideration and a lot of times in today's debate we decided that, where the country started. i think that by bringing that knowledge from the founding era where they sort of define what it meant to be in american canal plus. what really struck me when i started writing this was a quote from washington in which he said the foundation of are in power was laid not during a gloomy age of ignorance and superstition but when the rights of mankind
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are more clearly understood and better defined. the united states came into existence and citizens should not be a free and happy, the fault the entirely their own. that grabbed me. >> that was impressive but you remember all that. >> when you work with to some much you start internalizing. even when i'm answering questions i start reciting things. but i sort of -- you internalize these notions and d.c. these things as a direct charge to remember our past and what we can derive from this great time in which they sort of had this clarity. and then, you know, again, sort of take the analogies in the principles and help guide us. >> george washington and the forging of the presidency. just on that point, i was interested to read about the development of citizenship. we take it so for granted now. back then that was a
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revolutionary concept. >> it was so confusing. about 20 percent of the country where loyalists and wanted to be british subjects. we were betraying this whole concept of citizenship in which we were american citizens. even conflict with and that because of the people thought themselves more citizens of their state than any kind of nation. in one episode washington asks for the troops to pledge in of to the united states of america. sure enough they come back and say, no, new jersey is our country. there was all this conflict, but we were trying to create what it meant to be an american citizen which was quite an clear in the beginning of the war. we did one thing that was sort of amazing and revolutionary for revolutions, to define that the minority, the dissenting minority, the loyalists were still citizens and largely
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washington tried to protect their rights. what seems insane if you think about the population fighting is you. don't get me wrong, he would not mind shooting them. they came to raid their homes, persecuting them. he thought of them as citizens who were afforded certain rights >> i'm glad you mentioned the states' rights thing. that was pretty obvious going to your book here how much more powerful states were back then. during this time we did not have any real national government. it was this, no congress, a loosely tethered. the congress had very little powers. in fact, they're completely dependent upon the states to donate supplies and troops to the army. he was under supplied because
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the states wanted to keep their men and supplies at home to protect their individual states as opposed to help of a sister state. after the war under the articles of confederation we still -- it was not really working too well. >> we love the story because he wound up here in vermont. >> absolutely. >> to your room are where? >> my goodness. it is escaping me right now. he did go home back to massachusetts. >> i was thinking bennington. >> that sounds right. it was seven. he was near massachusetts. >> a couple of things about george washington and i did not know. one of them is that he was comfortable talking to a small crowd like a group of people in this room, but he was not an entirely comfortable public speaker. >> no, he was not. >> think of washington, this
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great politician who would have this booming voice and command the room. physically he was great to be was a tall man, a large man, strong, athletic, a great dancer. he was greeted all those things. when it came to speaking, he had terrible dental problems. it would garble is voice command he had many illnesses as a child he had always be a voice that did not really project to will. >> the other thing i learned on my just about everyone else in that era who drink, i would say, excessively in part because the water was so bad. you had to drink something, but he was not a big boost guy. >> he was not. it was funny, was looking into the debates at the constitutional convention, all these interesting stories. john adams would have a tanker

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